Monday, 26 January 2009

Demonic Assistance

I've written this in response to Anna's Friday 500 post over on Too Many Annas. This is the first time I've attempted something like this and the first time I've written any fiction/roleplayed in years. Was a lot of fun though, especially as its not too serious. At the very least its something a bit different. Here it is then. ;)

" five hundred words or less." completed Zignab.


"I thought it was perfectly clear." sighed the demon, "From henceforth all requests for demonic assistance must be composed-"

"Yes, I heard you." I growled, "But I can't help but feel you're not comprehending the gravity of the situation. I command. You follow. Otherwise..." I left the threat hanging.

"Yes, yes, yes." Said the imp starting to look a little uncomfortable. "And as ever I'm more than happy to serve but its - well - ever since little Zignab Jr came along, its getting to be a bit inconvinent."

"Inconvenient?" I hissed.

"Ummm...yes...well, its like last week, I was giving the little git his maggots for lunch and before I knew it I was yanked away and you were only collecting some herbs! You didn't even need me!"

"Listen-" I started.

"And the wife, she found him outside playing with the ponies. With the ponies!" He continued, heedless of my growing anger. "She said to me, 'No imp of mine is growing up to be a goody two-shoes.' And the names she called me, well, they'd have made even you blush."

"Damnit!" I muttered under my breath. My assailant was back, looking somewhat more irritated than he had when I last seen him. Demanding gold from me was no way to get in my good books though. I swiftly murmured the incantations and took a few moments of pleasure from watching him convulse in pain before the terror took him and sent him fleeing out of the alley screaming for the second time in as many minutes. I turned my attention back to the imp only to find him whimpering and crying little tears of fire. The situation was getting out of control. "Snap out of it!" I shouted, exerting my will. The imp twitched momentarily before reluctantly responding.

"Can't we all just get along?", he implored.

"No. But we can certainly make me feel much better.", I replied grinning as we set off in pursuit.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Necro this!

The UK is in the midst of a particularly cold spell at the moment - the kind of cold where its on every news broadcast. Its hardly the end of the world but it is mighty cold. Suits me though, more of an excuse to hide indoors and set myself up in front of the PC for hours on end.

Last night my EQ2 adventuring took me to the Lair of the Necromancer. A small solo instance in the Nektulos Forest zone. As you can imagine the small underground crypt featured plenty of undead and concludes with an encounter with a necromancer. The instance also features a fair amount of spiders - irritating, evil spiders. 1 on 1, provided I got the jump on them, I could take out a spider with little trouble. However, caught unaware at the wrong time the spiders proved to be a major irritation. The key problem being that their early attack is a root and this pretty much instantly counters my standard root, run away, nuke, repeat strategy - it quickly became root, stand still, nuke, die. So a couple of times death ensued when a wandering spider caught me just after a fight or, worse, joined in a fight already in progress. However, soon enough I figured out the route to take and got lucky enough to take out the rare spider spawn a couple of times as I made my way through. The boss, however, also proved to be a bit thorny. Towards the end of the instance there is a set of double doors that open out into a small square chamber. In the middle of the chamber are four unattackable fanatics conducting some sort of ritual. In each corner of the room is a skeleton - taking out the skeletons is a relatively simple task and once all 4 are down the fanatics become attackable. The fanatics are grouped up as an encounter and although I was initially concerned that 4 of them might wipe me out, judicious use of encounter and AOE spells took all 4 out quick enough. Once they were dead the final boss spawns with his pet. Again, I'm slightly concerned that I'm going to get overwhelmed - however, I figured if I kept the boss at range I'd hopefully be able to withstand enough of the hits from the pet whilst nuking the boss down and once the boss was dead the pet would die instantly too. And it worked just fine. Except I didn't know that the boss summons 2 skeletons just before it dies. So while I could finish off the boss no problem with a sliver of health left, the skeletons pretty swiftly finished me off. Twice. However, on the third try I was a bit smarter with my roots and nukes and managed to take out the boss with plenty of health to spare. I was then able to clean up on the summoned skeletons and that was that, instance complete!

For my troubles I got 4 or 5 skill book drops and a few items which I couldn't use and probably a level and half's worth of experience. And a whole lot of fun. It was really nice to have a bit of challenge that for my level was balanced just right - it was neither so easy that I could breeze through it or so difficult that it was obvious that I was never going to do it.

Monday, 5 January 2009

New year, new post

I thought it might be time that I put finger (well, fingers) to keyboard and tapped out a new post. December came and went with the usual fuss and bother, fun, food and presents. A lot of my spare time went missing and as the year drew closer to a close my batteries were pretty much hitting empty. So it was good to take a break for a while, enjoy the holidays and then return ready and revitalised for 2009.

So here I am, with only slight progress having been made in some ways but lots of progress in other ways.

WoW - So right up front, let's get it out of the way - I'm not 80 yet. My 'lock is sat happily (or as happy as 'locks get) at mid-75. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that while I'm looking forward to doing heroics at 80 that's probably about as far as I'm willing to take things. I will probably run Naxx a few times just to say I've done it but once that's done I think I'll be more inclined to level up another character than run raids constantly. With that I realised that there really wasn't any rush to 80 for me - the content that I'll be experiencing at 80 is likely to remain pretty much constant from now till when the next expansion launches. :) In that spirit I've started a Paladin, been levelling my Shammy and I'm considering starting a Death Knight pretty soon as well. In other words, I've had a bit of a dose of alt-itis. :) I'm also considering transferring my hunter over to my main server - just can't get it out of my mind that £15 is just a little too expensive though, nearly 2 months subs...we'll see...

EQ2 - My monk hit 42 or 43, I think. However, I found out that one of the guys I work with plays on the same server as me and so I started a Wizard and joined his guild - which, oddly, turned out to be the same guild that I used to belong too about a year ago before I had to stop playing the game for a bit. So it was really nice to rejoin and say hello again - they're a really friendly and helpful bunch. I've been enjoying it so much that my Wizard has become my main and is now sitting at 28 as of last night.

EVE - A new addition to the list, a few other guys at work had picked it up and started playing again and I was feeling tempted because of that and then CCP sealed the deal by offering a chunk of free play time. That was all I needed to cave in and sign up again. I'm still finding my feet somewhat in the deep deep pool that is EVE but I'm having fun learning new things and approaching the game from a industrial angle rather than the usual pew pew.

Other stuff - I've been trying out a bunch of free to play MMOs - just to see what they were like, I'll right a fully featured post when I've got time but suffice to say there were a few pleasant surprises in there. Nothing ground breaking but given the appropriate expectations there is more fun to be found here than you might expect. :) I'm also considering moving the blog from its current home and actually doing things properly using Wordpress - I'm not sure yet what that entails and what it might cost but it does seem that almost all the other blogs out there use it and they look great and way better than mine. Plus I'm hoping that there might be a way there to better join in the community. If anyone has any advice on this it'd be muchly appreciated.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Weekly Update #2

Hello and welcome to the second weekly round up. Still playing WoW and EQ2 at the moment. Quite a bit of WoW stuff to talk about and not so much EQ2 stuff, so lets get that out of the way first.

EQ2 - Dinged 40. Unfortunately, that's about it in terms of what I've done in EQ2 this week and I did that in one short session. Other than that I've logged on a couple of times to check auctions and stuff is not selling anywhere near as quickly as I'd like it to. I may have to stop levelling and go resource collecting for a bit and then stick the mats up for sale. I don't mind doing that when the money eventually comes in but the actual harvesting is pretty boring for me.

It was of course a major week for EQ2 with the release of The Shadow Odyssey expansion. Not a massive deal for me as its really aimed at players in the end game but at the same time having looked at what it brings and what people have blogged about it I'm really looking forward to getting to have a go at some of the dungeons etc.

In terms of plans for the week I'm slightly split, I can either carry on levelling and maybe replace bits of equipment I can afford and wait till post 50 (when hopefully I've got a bit more cash) before I go for a complete equipment refit or I can spend some time farming but slow down my levelling and get the level 42 mastercrafted set. Not sure which way I'm going to go yet but with the speed of levelling I think perhaps I'll push on into the 50s and then worry about equipment unless it becomes obvious that the level 32 mastercrafted set is actively holding me back.

WoW - Dinged 72 yesterday and I'm now about a quarter of the way to 73, I've cleared all but about 10 quests in Howling Fjord. I've also run both the Nexus and Utgarde Keep successfully. However, probably the biggest news of the week for me was that I've changed guilds. My old guild has been slowly decreasing in numbers and only a 3 or 4 members of the guild had purchased Wrath, so it was pretty obvious that if I wanted to see the majority group content in Wrath without PUGs and the associated problems (although, not all PUGs are bad) I was going to need to change guild. So when a friend that I know a little from outside the game asked if I was interested in joining his bigger and more active guild I jumped at the chance. Didn't stop me from feeling bad about leaving the old guild though, although the fact that there was nobody on to say goodbye to in peak playing hours kinda said it all really. Hopefully, I'll still see them around and group from time to time. :)

I've been quite interested this week on the discussions around whether Wrath is too easy and as I've got only the smallest amount of raid experience I'm not really in a position to comment. Personally, I'm not too concerned whether it is or isn't easy as by the time that I hit the raiding scene its likely that the raid group I'm with will be able to breeze through it because they've already done it a ton of times. However, I would like to know if they're fun or not, if I'm going to be doing runs regularly for drops then if its no fun I'm not interested, simple as that for me. Being completely realistic I think my end game activities are more likely to be centered around the heroics than the raids. I've not really heard any talk yet on how the heroics are at 80, would be interested to hear some comments on that.

Plans for the week are to keep on levelling - its looking unlikely that I'll have a lot of time this week, so I think as long as I hit 73 before the 7 days are out I'll be happy with that.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Weekly Update #1

Today marks the start of what I hope will be a regular friday occurance. A round up of my adventures and frolics of the last 7 days.

Two games to talk about this week and there are absolutely no prizes for guessing what the first one is.

WoW - The Day of Wrath has come and gone and, on the European servers at least, everything appeared to go smoothly and without any major incidents. Up to Wednesday evening I hadn't really been playing much through the week, content to enjoy some uninterrupted EQ2 time. On Wednesday night though, I was logged in and ready, secretly hoping that Blizz might have some nice final event planned before opening the boats to Northrend. Sadly, I was disappointed when absolutely nothing happened. In fact the only clue that anything had changed was that people started remarking in chat that there were Death Knights on the server and people in Northrend. So I hopped on the boat and off to Northrend I went.

First place I visited, albeit briefly that night, was Borean Tundra. I stomped through a few quests quickly and picked up a few bits of equipment as rewards (unlike a lot I was wearing a real miss-mish of purples, blues and greens). When I logged in last night (after queuing, anybody would think it was a big deal or something) Borean Tundra was rather crowded so I quickly headed off back to SW and then over to Menethil Habour and grabbed the boat to Howling Fjord. At which point the full force of what Blizz have done crafting the new area hit me, that boat ride in is just fantastic. Slightly later on you fly back out and that , for me, was jaw dropping. A couple of quests really stood out for me, one being the encounter with a horde of zombies in the Utgarde Catacombes and the other a meeting with The Lich King in the spirit realm - both utterly unexpected and different to anything before in terms of implementation.

Its safe to say that my first few hours with Wrath have been an absolue pleasure. In terms of progress, I'm nearly halfway to 71 and I've cleared the quests for both of the first hubs in the two zones. Plans wise, its really a case of continuing to do the quests and have a good explore. If I can I'd like to have a go at doing the first two dungeons and start working on my tailoring as well.

EQ2 - Obviously, I've been pulled away from EQ2 the last few days but prior to that I was trying to get some good time in with the game. I think I've been making some good progress - my monk is now level 38 and I've also got him kitted out in the full set of level 32 mastercrafted armour. I do, however, have two small problems. The first one is simple - I'm close to broke. However, I think the solution is also relatively simple - farm for some rare mats. That seems to me to be the easiest way to make some easy cash. Quest rewards also seem to be increasing in amount so all in all I'm not too concerned but that level 42 mastercrafted set may not be as easy to afford as I'd like. My second problem is a little more difficult to explain. EQ2 leaves me feeling a little bewildered. I'm quite happy with how my character is developing, the quests are good and the world is excellent but I can't help but feel that I'm missing out on stuff. There's so much crammed into EQ2, its really hard to see it all. In fact, its probably impossible. I can accept that for the most part but I've not done any group stuff at all and I can't help but feel that's a shame. Admittedly, I've not gone out on a limb looking for a party but equally I've not really seen anything pop up in chat for level appropriate groups, which I would have jumped on straight away. I guess its just a case that the player population is all at the higher levels and that when I get there then there will be plenty of group content. From what I've read about the new expansion there is plenty of group content in there - I just hope I won't be so late to the party that I miss it all.

Plans for EQ2 is just to keep munching through the solo timelines - I'm in Steamfont at the moment with plenty to do but once that starts to tail off I think a trip to Everfrost will be in order.

One last thing before I sign off, I'm going to start adding people to the Twitter - mainly people who have Twitter who's blog I've got subscribed in my RSS reader or podcasters. If I add you and you do end up reading this - please feel free to add me back and stick around and read the blog. As this is a new blog and is light on content right now, the knowledge that a few people are reading would be more than a bit motivational. ;)

Happy gaming,

Friday, 7 November 2008


I achieved a first for me a couple of weeks ago. For the first time since I started playing MMOs 5 or 6 years ago, I got a character to the level cap. The game in question was WoW and its taken me since the release of TBC to get there but I finally did it. OK, so its no real achievement when compared to pretty much anyone else that plays WoW but none the less I was pleased. My timing was near spot on, patch 3.0.2 hit just as I was tackling the last 3 levels and they just breezed by. I've still got a couple of zones of unexplored content in Outlands to go through if I decide to take another character to 70. And of course, the nerfing of some of the end game content was great to because it means that I've been able to see things that, if I'm honest, I didn't think I ever would. In fact, hitting the level cap really motivated me to play WoW and over the last few weeks I've sunk more time into WoW in a short period of time than I probably did for months leading up to hitting the cap.

Then 6 days ago, I reinstalled EQ2 - since then I've barely fired WoW up. Its great to be back in EQ2 - I dinged 33 last night and there is this massive new world to be explored, along with mechanics to learn and just this almost overwhelming world to be part of. It is utterly absorbing and I'm really enjoying it.

Will it last?

Of course not, WotLK is less than a week away and I'm absolutely certain that it'll absorb me in for a while. I'm also absolutely certain that I won't hit 80 anywhere near as quickly as most because after a while, I'll want to play something else.

All this serves as a great example of how I play my MMOs and more importantly on what this blog is going to be about. It serves two things :

1) It'll be like a journal of what I'm playing, what I've achieved and what I'm experiencing in MMO-land. This is almost entirely for my own personal gratification but I hope it'll prove to be an interesting read that anyone stumbles upon.

2) Occasionally, I'll offer thoughts and opinions on various MMO topics - anything related to MMO-ness that I might feel inclined to talk about. Its this that I hope might prove to cause a little more debate should anyone read it.

So please settle down and enjoy the slow paced ride and do feel free to chime in with comments if you feel the urge.

Happy gaming,